PACIFIC WAVE WINS OAKLEY SURF SHOP CHALLENGE
NORTHWEST REGIONAL TITLE
Seven Regional Champions Headed to Bali Oct. 6 for National Championship
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Sept. 4, 2012 —After months of meager surf, Steamer Lane came to life on Friday, providing contestants at the last stop of the 2012 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Regional Championships with rippable, head-high surf. In a nail biting final, local favorite Pacific Wave clinched the title, along with four all expense paid trips to Bali, Indonesia, for the National Championships at Keramas on October 6th.
|2012 Northeast Regional Champions Pacific Wave. Photo: Ryan Craig
The Oakely Surf Shop Challenge provides a unique formula for team-based competitive surfing. Invited surf shops, in this case ranging from Santa Barbara to Pacifica, are able to choose four surfers per team-two professional surf shop riders and two surf shop employees. These teams work together in a 60 minute, rotational tag-team showdown, with one rider acting as the predetermined “whammy” surfer, who has the option of raising their hands at the end of a ride to double the total of that wave’s score. With only a three-wave maximum allowed per surfer, this “whammy” surfer can make or break a team’s chance at winning.
After surveying the fickle conditions Friday morning, contest director Darren Brilhart made the call to delay the start of the event until noon, with hopes that an incoming south swell would pick up. As the day wore on, his prediction came true and the contest was on. Eight teams from Central and Northern California entered the water for the two semifinals, and after the spray cleared, the stage was set for an epic final.
In what has become a kind of annual grudge match, O’Neill Surf Shop and Pacific Wave clashed again in the 60 minute Battle Royale, accompanied by The Beach House out of Santa Barbara, and Carmel’s On the Beach. Defending champs from O’Neill started the heat with their whammy pick, local legend Jason “Ratboy” Collins, who, despite scoring a 6.0 on his opening ride, decided to wait it out in hopes of picking off a better wave. Unlike man-on-man surf contests, decisions like these are what make the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge unique, as each surfer must not only choose which waves to catch, but also at which point to call it quits and allow the rest of their team to build on their overall heat total.
Collins waited 20 minutes in the wave-starved final, before settling on a 5.63 score to whammy, leaving the door wide open for Pacific Wave’s first pick, Kyle Buthman, to score a 5.5 and make his way in quickly.
“Because of the lulls I knew I had to get in and out quickly, and I figured coming in after my early mid-range score would be a good call,” said Buthman.
Along with helpful performances from Miles Clanton and Willie Eagleton, lifelong Steamer Lane surfer Randy “The Kid” Bonds was able to seal the deal for Pacific Wave by whammying his first and only ride of the final, a blistering backside attack punctuated by a series of explosive off the lips coming in at an 8.3.
“It was tight, I had to,” said Bonds of his decision to whammy his first ride. “There wasn’t much time left and there was one more surfer to go, so I had to get what I had to get. I wish there was more waves, it just lulled out.”
When asked about his excitement for the opportunity to shed the 4/3 and booties for some tropical perfection at Keramas, Bonds replied with a smile: “I can’t wait to go to Keramas, it’s a really good wave. I’m stoked we’re all gonna get to go together.”
Along with bragging rights, Pacific Wave team members received custom Oakley sunglasses and gear, 59 custom New Era Pacific Wave hats, a one-month supply of Muscle Milk, and a shop profile in an upcoming issue of SURFER.
Next stop is Bali on Oct. 6, where Pacific Wave will duke it out with the six other regional qualifiers from across the Nation for the grand prize of $10,000, not to mention a chance to surf one of Bali’s best waves with just three others in the water.
For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out www.surfshopchallenge.com. Start the conversation with #OSSC.
Special thanks to Oakley and other event partners, Muscle Milk, Rusty, Bubble Gum, New Era, Future Fins, Waterman’s Applied Science and Mizu for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
About Surf Shop Challenge
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. Through the years the contest has evolved, with seven qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship in Bali, Indonesia for the first time in 2012. The underlying principles, however, have remained the same. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is still about giving back to the shops, the true backbone of the industry and the heart of the sport of surfing. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.
About Oakley, Inc.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at oakley.com
In 1960, SURFER Magazine began as the original. After a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award winning state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” The SURFER brand has also grown to include Surfermag.com, Fantasy Surfer, and the SURFER message boards. All of these assets combine to make the SURFER network the most current and reliable channel of information to the surf community. The magazine is published by Source Interlink’s GrindMedia, which reaches more than 22-million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. To learn more, visit www.surfermag.com
Source Interlink Media’s GrindMedia is home to renowned action and adventure sports magazine brands Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Skateboarder, Powder, Bike, Canoe & Kayak, SUP-Standup Paddler, Dirt Rider, ATV Rider, and Paved. Along with our standalone websites, including GrindTV.com, Newschoolers and Motocross.com, GrindMedia is the leading provider of print and online action sports and entertainment content in the United States. Delivering significant reach across both action sports enthusiast and various in-market consumer audiences, GrindMedia produces more than 20 leading events and webcasts such as Surfer Poll Awards, Powder Video Awards, Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, EnduroCross and International Surfing Day. GrindMedia is also the exclusive action and adventure sports content provider for Yahoo! Sports. To learn more, visit www.grindmedia.com